Justin Hartley says This Is Us fans are all wrong about Jack died

Justin Hartley Crushes ‘This Is Us’ Fan Theories About How Jack Died

Justin Hartley says This Is Us fans are all wrong about how his TV dad, Jack Pearson, died. In an interview with Us Weekly, Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson on the NBC drama, threw a wrench in all of the fan theories, saying viewers will never figure out how the Pearson patriarch, played by Milo Ventimiglia, kicks the bucket.

“You’ll never guess it,” Justin Hartley told Us Weekly.

“It’s unexpected and it’s extremely heartbreaking and sad and deep and moving and, ugh, it’s painful. It’s painful. It’ll stay with you.”

This Is Us fans already know the approximate timeframe that Jack died. A flashback funeral scene showed that the character died sometime in the mid-1990s when the Big Three (played as adults by Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, and Sterling K. Brown) were teenagers. But details about Papa Pearson’s death have been kept firmly under wraps, and now Justin Hartley says he has yet to come across a fan theory about Jack’s death that is correct.

We love him more than a human heart can love. #ThisIsUs

A post shared by This Is Us (@nbcthisisus) on

Justin Hartley’s tease will have fans rethinking the predictable death scenarios, like an alcohol-related death or a car crash. While other fans think Jack may have died from cancer or a heart attack, Justin’s comments make it sound like those guesses are also incorrect.

Some This Is Us fans have speculated that Jack died on USAir Flight 427, which crashed when it was headed to Pittsburgh in 1994, and other theories include a 9/11-related death, but both of those theories were pretty much dispelled when it was made clear that Jack dies in the mid-1990s. Still, the plane crash theory has been a big one, and many fans point to Justin Hartley’s character’s comment that he destroyed all of his model airplanes after his father’s death.

Kevin is left with a lot to think about on tonight's #thisisus

A post shared by Justin Hartley (@justinhartley) on

Justin Hartley isn’t the only This Is Us star with the secret scoop on Jack’s untimely demise. Justin’s TV brother, Sterling K. Brown, told Glamour he knows all of the details of the sad storyline because it helps shape how he plays an adult Randall Pearson.

“I do,” Brown said when asked if knows how his This Is Us dad died. “Well, because we have to know because it sort of informs how we relate to our present, knowing what our past was. So we know the story, and we know the pieces will be parsed out throughout the course of this season into the future.”

Justin Hartley’s TV mom, Mandy Moore, also said it will be a while before the dad of three’s death storyline plays out for viewers, telling Elle that This Is Us fans probably won’t be in the know until the second or third season.

"And all is right in the world…" – @mandymooremm #ThisIsUs

A post shared by This Is Us (@nbcthisisus) on

This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman previously told reporters at the Television Critics Association panel that while the timeframe of the beloved Pearson patriarch’s death would be revealed to fans this season, the rest of the story will play out over a long period of time.

“Slowly but surely you’ll learn when, then much later how, and then you’ll see it, but that will take, hopefully, many many episodes,” Fogelman said.

No matter how it plays out, Milo Ventimiglia told Entertainment Tonight that the circumstances surrounding his character’s final days will be extremely painful for fans.

“It’s going to hurt,” Ventimiglia told ET. “It’s going to hurt real bad! I think it’s going to be a ways off. You’re going to forget about it, you’re going to get wrapped up in the lives of Jack and Rebecca and the big three, and then when you’ve forgotten that he’s gone, we’re going to hit you with it and it’s going to crush you.”

The This Is Us star told the Wrap it’s important to remember that while his character’s time with his family is limited, he will forever be seen on the show via flashbacks.

Now that Justin Hartley has crushed the usual fan theories, how do you think Jack Pearson died?

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]